God With us at Christmas

God With us at Christmas

In mid-2021, I reconnected with a friend who had briefly been a coworker. Although we had stayed in touch over the years, mostly via email, our contacts were sporadic. That is, until he emailed me to relate his cancer diagnosis and imminent kidney removal.

Not only did I start praying for Dave regularly, we began occasional Zoom or Google Meets calls. That fall on vacation, my wife and I stopped for dinner at his home.

Recently, he said he wanted to chat by video. On that call, I discovered that his condition was serious. I knew he had been for some follow-up treatments, but I thought they were taking care of the cancer.

That proved a faulty assumption. Not only had the cancer spread to his liver, but to his brain and other organs. He told of feeling tired and mentally cloudy on occasion. I know from others who have been through chemotherapy or radiation those are common symptoms.

Signs of God

God With us at Christmas blog post by Ken Walker Writer. Pictured: A black and white photos of a light shining beyond an open door. However, on this call he shared a most interesting story about his latest visit for another of his regular treatments. He told of waiting to go into the treatment room and praying, “God, I know You’re always with me, but I would like a sign that You are here with me, right now.”

Just then, he said, the door to the office opened. Nobody went inside and nobody walked out. Then the door softly closed.

“I took that as my sign,” he said with a slight laugh.

That is the kind of story that arouses skepticism. Critics who believe in a rational world with an explainable cause for everything will scoff and chalk up such accounts as a coincidence or a weak-minded fantasy.

For someone who feels that way, nothing I can say will convince them otherwise. But as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth next Monday, I side with folks like Dave who know God is real and active in every-day life.

Spiritual World

We live in a spiritual world where things happen that have no concrete, scientifically provable explanation. Dave’s experience reminded me of a story another friend shared about feeling overwhelmed with the seriousness of his son’s leukemia. The battle lasted for 42 months before the disease went into remission.

One night as he stood over his son’s bed, wracked with emotional pain because of the seriousness of his son’s condition, the Holy Spirit came over him. Suddenly, he started praying in a language he didn’t understand, although he comprehended the powerful peace that settled over the room.

Pictured: A dramatization of the Christmas Star leading the wise men to Bethlehem.Another friend lost his wife to a sudden, unexpected heart attack. Months later in church, he had a vision of her seated in a boat on a lake clear as glass, a broad smile on her face. Then she reached down and touched him on the shoulder.

You would have to know that he is one of the most level-headed, conservative, hard-working men I’ve ever known to appreciate the phenomenal nature of that story.

This is the reality of the Jesus who came to change the world. Many can recite John 3:16 about God loving the world so much He sent His Son. They should add verse 17: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

God’s presence is the gift Jesus gave us, worth more than any worldly presents one could find under a tree. Merry Christmas.

One Response

  1. Soothing and reaffirming! Thank you for this perspective on our Emmanuel!

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